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Brown: No State Funding Increase If UC Raises Tuition

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

California Gov. Jerry Brown, presenting his January 2014 budget proposal at the state Capitol.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Updated at 9:40pm: California Governor Jerry Brown is sticking to his guns against University of California President Janet Napolitano.

In November, the UC Board of Regents - at Napolitano's urging - voted to increase tuition by 5 percent for each of the next five school years unless the governor and state lawmakers give the UC an additional $100 million each year.

But Brown is holding firm to his terms from 2012, when he promised both the UC and California State University state funding increases of 4-to-5 percent for four consecutive years - as long as both systems froze tuition.

Capitol sources familiar with the governor's budget proposal - to be released Friday morning - tell Capital Public Radio that the governor will propose 4 percent funding increases for the UC and CSU as long as they do not increase tuition. That equates to additional funds of just under $120 million.

That means the UC would actually stand to lose nearly $20 million overall if it does not revoke its tuition increases and Brown's proposal ends up in the final state budget.

Lawmakers from both parties oppose the UC tuition hikes. But Democrats have long pushed for more money for higher education, and are expected to do so again this year. Republicans have complained that Gov. Brown has broken his promise to voters from the Proposition 30 campaign in 2012, when supporters of the tax measure said some of the additional revenues would go to the UC and CSU.

Original story: A fresh California budget debate begins Friday at the state Capitol. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown will put out his annual budget proposal – starting the six-month budget dance by stating his priorities for the coming year.

Legislative Democrats and Republicans expect Brown to use conservative revenue projections. California appears to have a multi-billion dollar surplus. But because of the state’s complex education funding formula and the rainy day fund ballot measure approved by voters last fall, Brown will likely say there won’t be much money left over for new spending in non-education programs.

Here are a few other things to look for in the governor’s budget:

- his response to the University of California’s threat to raise tuition unless it gets more state funding

- his call for state workers to start pre-paying their retiree health benefits

- and how he would pay for the maintenance work on roads and highways that he called for in his inaugural address on Monday.